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Backlog Centers

Non-Receipt of 45-day Letters Process for Addressing Related Requests to Reopen

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is aware that some employers or their legal representatives who have received "case closed" letters may not have previously received a "45-day" Center Receipt Notification Letter ("45-day letter") from the Backlog Elimination Center (BEC) processing their respective cases. In addition, cases may have been closed after employers or their representatives responded timely to a 45-day letter. OFLC has developed a process and remedy available to employers who believe a case has been closed due to issues surrounding the receipt of or response to 45-day letters. To be considered for case reopening, all requests must be received by the appropriate BEC within 30 days of the publication of this policy announcement or within 30-days of the receipt of a case closed letter, whichever is later.

To learn more, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section here.

What's happening with my application for Alien Employment Certification for Permanent Employment in the United States?
As part of our effort to improve the processing of permanent labor certification applications, Permanent cases from the Regional Offices and the State Workforce Agencies are being transferred to the ETA Backlog Processing Centers. The centers will issue a "45-day letter" to the employer. The letter will ask the employer if it wishes to continue with the processing of the application. Additionally, the letter will inform the employer if any information from the application is missing. The employer will be given 45 days from the date of the letter to respond. If the employer fails to respond, the application will be closed.

Why is my application being processed by a Backlog Processing Center?
ETA has established two (2) Backlog Processing Centers in accordance with an interim final rule we published in the Federal Register on July 21, 2004. The rule allows us to consolidate state and Federal functions of the application review process into centralized locations. We estimate with adequate resources, it will take approximately 24-30 months to eliminate the permanent program's backlog of cases.

Which Backlog Processing Center has my application?
Which Backlog Processing Center has your application depends upon the area of intended employment for the job opportunity identified in the Permanent application.

  • Philadelphia Backlog Processing Center
    If the area of intended employment is in the following states or territories, questions should be directed to the Philadelphia Processing Center at the address listed below:
MassachusettsMississippiNew HampshireNew Jersey
New YorkNorth CarolinaPennsylvaniaPuerto Rico
Rhode IslandSouth CarolinaTennesseeVermont
Virgin IslandsVirginiaWashington DCWest Virginia

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
1 Belmont Avenue, Suite 200
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Phone: (484) 270-1500
Fax: (484) 270-1600

  • Dallas Backlog Processing Center
    If the area of intended employment is in the following states or territories, questions should be directed to the Dallas Processing Center at the address listed below:
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Mexico
North DakotaOhioOklahomaOregon
South DakotaTexasUtahWashington

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
700 North Pearl St., Suite 400N
Dallas, Texas 75201
Phone: (214) 237-9111
Fax: (214) 237-9135

H-1B Visa Extensions

DOL has worked with CIS to set up a new system in the Backlog Elimination Centers to assist individuals who have submitted an application for permanent labor certification prior to March 28, 2005 and need proof of the submission to apply for an extension of an H-1B visa.

Individuals should send an e-mail to the appropriate Backlog Center explaining the need for the H-1B extension and requesting verification that their application is pending at the Center. The email addresses are for the Dallas Center and for the Philadelphia Center. Include in this request all pertinent information (employer name and address, alien name and address, date of filing, state where filed, case number, if known).

The Backlog Center will respond to the individual with verification that the application has been pending for 365 days.

Backlogged Application Receipt Dates

The document found at the link below was created to help employers who have applied for Permanent Foreign Labor Certification prior to March 28, 2005 find out when their applications arrived at a backlog processing center. In order to learn when a specific case was received by a backlog center, first locate the state where the Permanent Foreign Labor Certification application was submitted. Then, in the next column, marked Filing Date Range, find the dates between which the application's filing (or priority) date falls. To the right of this column is the Date Received column, which shows the exact date that applications within a specific priority date range arrived at the backlog center. The last column, entitled Backlog Center, shows what center received that particular shipment.

Backlogged Application Receipt Dates

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